UNITED STATES—Hi Toni! I will turn 65 in September of this year and would like to retire in 3-6 months. I have several questions after studying your Medicare Survival Guide Advanced edition & Medicare.gov. Just trying to avoid any mistakes!

  1. If I enroll in Medicare A & B now can I postpose paying for Part B until I retire?
  2. Would it be better to wait until I retire and then apply for Medicare Parts A and B?

Thank you so much for your expertise! Karen from Clear Lake area.

Karen: You have a few different Medicare enrollment options available to you that are not mentioned in the Medicare & You handbook.

This special time is called the “Medicare effective date schedule.” It is a very important window of time for those only turning 65 not those past 65 and 90 days leaving their current employment with benefits.

The Medicare & You handbook does discuss the “Initial Enrollment Period”, it states, “If you enroll in Part A and/or Part B the month you turn 65 or during the last 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, the start date for your Medicare coverage will be delayed.”

The “Medicare effective date schedule” is the 7-month period which occurs 3 months before turning 65, the month you turn 65 and 3 months after turning 65 when your Medicare begins at different times.

Below is a simple explanation of the Medicare effective date schedule:

  • Enrolling anytime 3 months before turning 65, your Medicare begins the first day of the month you turn 65.
  • Enroll the month you turn 65, then Medicare will begin 1 month after you sign up.

Karen if you enroll in September, then your Medicare begins October 1st.

  • Enroll 1 month after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 2 months after you sign up.

Karen if you enroll in October; your Medicare begins January 1st.

  • Enroll 2 months after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 3 months after you sign up.

Karen if you enroll in November; your Medicare begins March 1st.

  • Enroll 3 months after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 3 months after you sign up. Karen if you enroll in December; your Medicare will begin April 1st

Karen during a Toni Says® Medicare consultation with someone who wishes to apply for Medicare as you are discussing, we help that person with a personalized Medicare plan to meet their specific needs. Medicare is not “cookie cutter…one size does not fit all!”

Let’s say you wait until January to retire which is past your Medicare effective date schedule time schedule, we would advise you to apply at your local Social Security office for a Medicare SEP (Special Enrollment Period) with form #CMS L-564 which is signed by your company HR. Your Medicare would begin February1st not March 1st or April 1st as if you had applied during your Medicare effective date schedule.

Is that Medicare rule confusing or what?

Yes Karen, if you enroll in Medicare Part A and B whether working full-time or not your premiums begin the month that your Medicare Part B begins

If you are still confused and would like to discuss your specific Medicare circumstances either email info@tonisays.com or call the Toni Says® Medicare Call Center at 1/844-250-8664 and the Toni Says® team can help you.

Toni King, is giving a $5 discount to the Toni Says® readers on the Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book at www.tonisays.com. Toni’s new book “Medicare Goalz 4 U…Your Guide to Enrolling in Medicare is now available on the Toni Says® website.